Haggis Hell Home Page

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us
This is the home page. It includes current weblog posts and announcements.

What is this site?

Haggis Hell is simply the personal weblog of Robert Kiraly, aka OldCoder, a software developer for 40 years. It started due to an unusual pair of gag-order cases that ran from 2012 to 2013, but it collects threads of different types now.

Pieces will jump around to different pages, but the original short links listed on Twitter should continue to work.

Haggis Hell has resumed after a pause of one year.

The Kiraly Cases will continue to be one thread. We look forward to legitimate and and reasonable steps, protected under U.S. laws, related to colorful characters such as:

Jim Kiraly (VP of Transamerica), Grace Kiraly (Christ Follower), Tom Kiraly (CFO of Hanger, Inc.), Ken Kiraly (VP of Amazon and a lead at Lab126), Michael Bonetto (a Rising Star attorney), Maggie Desmond (a noble woman, certainly), John Perrott (a Fundamentalist Family Law attorney of distinction), and other people that you'll come to know and love.

OldCoder welcomes email. New addresses will be posted when the contacts page is redone. If you write, note that he doesn't give a quacking duck if you feel he's too detailed. He's made of details and, these days, he's comfortable with the fact.

180808 Wednesday — Posts have moved

The Mia the Cat story has moved to its own page at:

Recent rhyme posts have moved to:

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Mia Kitten
180808 Wednesday — Captain Tobin Rides a White Horse Doo-Dah

180808. Captain Tobin Rides a White Horse Doo-Dah.

Note to Matt Tobin of Kokomo, IN:

I didn't realize that you were reading my Twitter feed. We should talk.

Not in IRC. That isn't going to work as you tend to threaten to hunt me down and kill me and kill me again. So much kill.

But let's exchange email about #UXP and #Thunderbird.

180808 Wednesday — FBI by and by

180808. FBI by and by.

There's no doubt that 2012 to 2013 and subsequent years have changed me.

The things that the Kiralys and their supporters did, the realization of what has been taken from me, the types of decisions that I've had to make; how does this sort of thing affect neurology?

I can tell you this: If it doesn't kill you, what's left is probably no-nonsense.

I'm pretty busy, but I need to deal with tasks related to Jim Kiraly, DOB May 10, 1933 and SSN (for legitimate and reasonable purposes that are protected under U.S. laws) 038-20-8134.

Attorneys and others: Feel free to review the Legitimate and Reasonable Purposes list at this link. The SSN legal notes at this link may be of interest as well.

In particular, I need to confirm that Jim is, or isn't, still living and to address, for legitimate and reasonable purposes that are protected under U.S. laws, the physical locations where this wife-beater who is guilty, additionally, of sexual misconduct is hiding and attempting to conceal the prosecutable crimes, including felonies, that he's committed or is involved in.

This means hiring P.I.s and researchers of other types.

Some of these people are honest, committed, and hard-working. And some are flakes and nutcases.

Anthony Esparza, of Eyecon (or Eye-Con) Investigations — the firm of that name in the SLO area, not the one in Australia — is one of the flakes and nutcases.

I discussed Mr. Esparza with the SLO branch of the FBI recently and have submitted, with their approval, a report related to his conduct.

On August 07, 2018, the FBI confirmed receipt of the report. So, I'm posting it here.

I'd like Anthony to have a copy, but I'm not presently in communication with him. People who are associated with him are invited to pass along a copy.

My report to the FBI consists of a six-page PDF. You can presently read or download the PDF at this link:


My cover letter to the FBI is posted further down.

Those who are inclined to poke fun at a report to the FBI of such a minor matter as this one should note that I'm not presenting it as significant.

Anthony Esparza, a P.I. who resides in or near Arroyo Grande, has implied that he has shadowy FBI assassins in his pocket who will eliminate me at his behest. They “have”, he says, his “back”.

All that I've done is mention to the FBI that this seems impolite.

BTW to Jim Kiraly: File in an attempt to prevent me from “seeking [your] address” for legitimate and reasonable purposes that are protected under U.S. laws, abuser b*tch, and you're aware that it'll backfire.

As a related note, I already have what's supposed to be your legal address. If it's simply a front connected to your attempts to conceal or obscure your role in multiple felonies, this raises interesting legal questions.

The Vomit of Christ spews forth when He considers that the fact that a shambler such as you has the temerity to enter a Church. But the thought makes you smile, doesn't it, Jim?

We'll see. If you haven't kicked the bucket, I trust you don't object to showing the smile in a YouTube special.

You have zero rights, of course, to privacy in any context. The notion, if it comes up, will be mocked.

If you *have* kicked the bucket, we'll be comforted by the fact that your whore is still present and able to receive legitimate and reasonable demonstrations of the respect in which she is held.

Anthony Esparza isn't the flakiest P.I. that I've encountered in the Avila Estates area; i.e., one of the areas that is presently of interest.

There's a story about another P.I. from a year or two back that's much funnier. I'll write that story up when time permits and put more about this side of things on the following site:


This is my cover letter to the FBI. To obtain the PDF in question, click here.

ATTN: SLO-area FBI office

I'm writing subsequent to a phone discussion with Employee [Redacted]. She and I agreed that it would be all right for me to submit an informal report of a matter that is minor but may be of interest to the FBI.

Please see the attached 6-page PDF.

I'm only requesting that receipt of the PDF and delivery to somebody who will review it be confirmed. This is, again, an informal report. I don't need to know if action is or isn't taken subsequently.

The short version is that a P.I. local to your office has suggested that he has special influence with local FBI agents and has relayed an implied threat from one of them to me.

I suggest that a manager have a polite chat with the P.I. regarding his use of the FBI name. This is only a suggestion. For details, see the PDF.

Regards, Robert (the Old Coder)

180701 Sunday — Port of elfutils to musl

180701. Port of elfutils to musl.

musl elfutils

This post is for those who know what "elfutils" and "musl" are and would like to get one into the other.

I've ported "elfutils" 0.173, which seems to be the latest official release as of 180701, to musl 1.1.19.

Other ports exist. However, most are distro-specific or for older releases of "elfutils". This port should be useful to developers working on their own "musl"-based distros.

This wasn't a small task.

elfutils is madness
elfutils is horror
elfutils is descent into pit
Into musl elfutils does not fit

So, I'll share the resulting patch file and procedure with others interested in "musl".

Questions and comments may be sent by email to: oldcoder@yahoo.com

For me, at any rate, the patch file and procedure produce a clean "elfutils" build including executables and both static and dynamic libraries.

The "gcc" and "binutils" used were releases 6.4.0 and 2.27, respectively, as built by Rich Felker's "musl" cross make toolkit located at:


You can download all of the special files required, not including musl cross make, in a single ZIP archive at this link:


The link will probably change later.

The ZIP file contains these files. You can download the ZIP file at this link. Or you can get the files inside it at the links below. Text files linked here have been renamed to "*.txt".

Name Notes
README A copy of this post
argp-standalone-1.3.tar.gz "libargp" library sources
argp-standalone-1.3.tar.gz.url URL where I obtained preceding
elfutils-0.173.tar.bz2 "elfutils" 0.173 sources
elfutils-0.173.tar.bz2.url URL where I obtained preceding
libargp-01-alpine-funcdef.patch An Alpine patch for argp*
libargp-02-alpine-gnu89.patch Ditto
musl-elfutils-180701.patch My "musl-elfutils" patch
obstack-git-180701.tar.bz2 "obstack" library sources
obstack-git-180701.tar.bz2.url URL where I obtained preceding

Here's the "build" procedure. You'll most likely need to make changes based on your OS configuration.

1. Start with a distro based on "musl" 1.1.19, "gcc" 6.4.0 or 7.2.0 or above, and "binutils" 2.27 or 2.28.

You'll need a full standard development toolkit, including recent releases of "autoconf", "automake", and related packages. "bzip2", "xzutils", and "zlib" libraries and header files as well.

In the following sections, you can change the PREFIX setting used, but two rules apply:

* The same PREFIX setting should be used in each script
* $PREFIX/include should be a directory that "gcc -I" knows about

2. You may, or may not, need to rebuild various existing libraries with either or both of these two changes:

* Use the "gcc -fPIC" flag
* Build both static and dynamic libraries

Skip this part initially. If you get error messages later related to linking with existing libraries, come back to this point and decide whether or not rebuilds might help.

3. If your distro doesn't provide the "libargp.*" library and associated header files, build and install "argp-standalone". Use the two Alpine patches provided.

The following script may work, with changes:

Your phone or window is too narrow to show the code. If it's a phone, try rotating the phone or switching to a PC.

#!/bin/bash -e PREFIX=/usr/local mkdir -p $PREFIX/{bin,sbin,include,lib} # rm -fr argp-standalone-1.3 tar zxf argp-standalone-1.3.tar.gz pushd argp-standalone-1.3 patch -p1 < ../libargp-01-alpine-funcdef.patch patch -p1 < ../libargp-02-alpine-gnu89.patch touch compile autoreconf export CFLAGS="-fPIC -O2" # ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX make mv argp*.h $PREFIX/include/ mv libargp.a $PREFIX/lib/ popd

Warning: This package shouldn't be installed on a "glibc"-based system unless you take steps to prevent it from being used without special "gcc -I" and "ld -L" switches.

Even on a "musl"-based system, this package may break GNU "tar". If this happens, you'll probably be able to fix the problem by fiddling with "tar" Makefiles.

4. If your distro doesn't provide the "libobstack.*" library and the associated header file, build and install "obstack". The following script may work, with changes:

Your phone or window is too narrow to show the code. If it's a phone, try rotating the phone or switching to a PC.

#!/bin/bash -e PREFIX=/usr/local mkdir -p $PREFIX/{bin,sbin,include,lib} # rm -fr obstack-git-180701 tar jxf obstack-git-180701.tar.bz2 pushd obstack-git-180701 ./bootstrap.sh export CFLAGS="-fPIC -O2" # ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX make && make install popd

5. Edit "musl-elfutils-180701.patch". Look for this part:

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+argp_LDADD="-L/usr/local/lib -Wl,-R/usr/local/lib ... ... +obstack_LDADD="-L/usr/local/lib -Wl,-R/usr/local/lib ...

If "libargp.* is installed somewhere besides "/usr/local/lib", modify the "argp_LDADD" line appropriately.

If "libobstack.* is installed somewhere besides "/usr/local/lib", modify the "obstack_LDADD" line appropriately.

6. Build and install "elfutils". The following script may work, with changes:

Your phone or window is too narrow to show the code. If it's a phone, try rotating the phone or switching to a PC.

#!/bin/bash -e PREFIX=/usr/local mkdir -p $PREFIX/{bin,sbin,include,lib} # rm -fr elfutils-0.173 tar jxf elfutils-0.173.tar.bz2 cd elfutils-0.173 patch -p1 < ../musl-elfutils-180701.patch autoreconf # export LIBS="-L$PREFIX/lib -Wl,-R$PREFIX/lib -lbz2 -lz" export CFLAGS="-fPIC -O2" # ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX make && make install

180621 Thursday — Meet the Jetsons

180621. Meet the Jetsons.

This post is for those who remember the original Jetsons 1960s TV series. 1962 to 1963. 55 years ago.

I wasn't especially fond of the Jetsons, but they did become part of the collective subconscious of the U.S. as far as the future went.

We were supposed to have robots and flying cars. We did get tech, some of it superior to Star Trek TOS level. But no robots or airborne roadsters.

More importantly, we're less advanced now, socially, than we were 40 years ago. 1978. That was the high-water mark.

How did things go backwards from there?

There's increased tolerance for differences. More so each year. But only among sentients.

In the U.S., the last two years have seen something else come out from under the rocks. Something hasn't been as out in the open as it is now since the 1930s.

It's emboldened.

People similar to my parents believe that it's their world again. The world of the Klan and of the swastika.

There's more than one time of Klansman.

You've got the type, of course, that's outspoken. Then there's the upper-class type that wouldn't dream of saying certain things out loud... but it's offended primarily by bluntness. Not by fundamental assumptions.

The second type nods quietly at assumptions. It works backwards from the conclusion that they're correct.

So, there are households where no one would dream of saying the word “N*gger”. But there are books and magazines on the coffee tables which explain that slavery was a blessing to the Blacks.

Who, the assumptions say, are lazy and don't wish to work.

The working-backwards part is the key. The key to what you see around you.

This is the mistake that sentients make: It isn't about differences of opinion or tolerating diverse views.

It's about the way that the brain itself works. A defect in the amydalae. The non-sentients are unable to reason in contexts where they perceive “The Other”. Unable to reason to the extent that brain-waves go flat.

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This is true, to an extent, of human beings in general. But it's a defining characteristic in the cases of the Klan, the Nazis, and the Trump-ites.

In short, it's a biological condition. One that can be tested for. Tests to identify the issue exist.

It's pointless to attempt to reason with such types. To seek a middle ground that doesn't exist.

In the end, if humanity is to move forward, something more fundamental will need to be done.

The tests should be formalized and put to use.

The principle of “The Other” can be summarized as follows:

Only sentients work forward from facts. Non-sentients work backwards from conclusions in all matters where the idea of a pack-level “side” can be applied.

If you're on the wrong “side”, facts don't matter to the non-sentients. There is no point to pointing out the facts. This is how it works.

It isn't time for the Jetsons or Star Trek yet. Or any world of the future.

The world that is supposed to be isn't going to exist until the things that were hiding under the rocks, and are now out in the open, are addressed.

Technical note: My parents are, of course, Jim and Grace Kiraly, previously of the Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Arroyo Grande tri-city area. For a legitimate and reasonable cash offer related to these people, kindly click here.

DC Comics apparently started an “adult” Jetsons print series in 2017. I don't know if it's still running or not.

The page below is from a Jetsons prelude story that appeared in “Booster Gold / Flintstones #1”.

In this scene, Judy Jetson chats with her grandmother, George Jetson's mother Rosemary Jetson. Rosemary is a dying woman who was apparently born in our era.

Rosemary's fate is odd enough that the series might be of interest to geeks who remember when the future was different.

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Sample Jetsons page

To close on what is definitely a lighter note, the artwork below is a Deviant Art take on the Jetsons by nerdybunni. nerdybunni has been at Deviant Art for 7 years.

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Jetsons artwork
180619 Tuesday — ICE data issue

180619. ICE data issue.

The ICE data issue is probably moot because a copy is apparently up at WikiLeaks. I don't have the link yet.

This post will remain for now to prevent a broken link.

Streisand Effect

TOR isn't a bore
Nor is it to adore
It's a tool
To freedom fuel
TOR all day and all night

Streisand Effect too
Shall ensue
Data always finds a way
Data all night and all day

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Jetsons artwork
180619 Tuesday — Science Fiction remarks

180619. Science Fiction remarks.

From Twitter.

Simon, the strongest catgirl, said:

I think my only experience with science fiction outside of video games is like, ringworld. I really need to read more books within the genre

@BoldCoder responded:

Try best #sciencefiction from all decades. Smith: Ballad of Lost C'Mell. Clarke: The Star. Sturgeon: Man Who Lost the Sea. Ellison: Deathbird. Kessel: Another Orphan. Zelazny: For a Breath I Tarry. Carr: Dance of the Changer and the Three.

Avoid series novels. Read Hugo winners.

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Science Fiction
180619 Tuesday — Is That Ham?

180619. Is That Ham?

From Twitter.

Your phone or window is too narrow to show this box. If it's a phone, try rotating the phone or switching to a PC.
Is that ham?

Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, said:

is that... is that ham

@BoldCoder responded:

Donald Duck Thanksgiving

180515 Tuesday — Superman's nightmares

180515. Superman's nightmares.

From Twitter.

Your phone or window is too narrow to show this box. If it's a phone, try rotating the phone or switching to a PC.
Superman as Electroman

@garaujo1 said:

May 14, 1997 — This Day During Superman's Triangle Era

@BoldCoder responded:

The Electric #Superman shown in the OP is now canonically one of the “real” Superman's nightmares. Not that it's a simple matter to define the “real” Superman after 33 years of endless reboots and retcons.

See the panel below. From Dark Nights METAL #4 courtesy of Screen Rant.

Superman's nightmares

180616 Saturday — Life's Not Grim with a Dash of Jim

180617. Life's Not Grim with a Dash of Jim.

I'd forgotten that June 17 was Fathers Day this year. So, I've updated this post to add a cheery Fathers Day rhyme. This is excerpted from a letter sent to loving family members.

Ken and Virginia, I've gone public regarding sexual misconduct on Jim's part. If I decide to post details here, I'll dare you to say just as publicly that the details aren't exactly like Jim.

On a separate note, ask Harmeet Dhillon for a copy of the primary letter that I sent her in the past few days. I Cc'd her on another one. I'm referring to the letter that's more focused on communication issues.

Attorneys, note that I've used the word “misconduct” here as opposed to “abuse”. If it's a distinction without a difference, I don't give a quack.

The ironies continue to pile up.

Addressing family members as a group, all that you needed to do was put an end to the stalking and threats on your side. The messages that I left on my birthday in 2012 were intended to be Goodbye Forever. That wasn't clear?

I'm good presently for 15 to 25 more years. Well, maybe just the low end of the range. Or perhaps I'll emulate DNA the Elderly Attorney and make it to 87. We'll see.

This site and/or others will be present, most of the time, as the years pass.

I've thought of a way, in fact, to ensure that the sites outlive me. If it works, there will be no centralized copies. Takedowns won't be possible, even after I'm gone. The sites might even make it to the Singularity.

Such future.

Pro Tip: There is no such thing as “cyberspace” or “The Cloud”. The idea is ludicrous. It's all just virtual machines, routers, and fragile temporary storage, mostly owned by corporations that come and go.

But think outside the box.

Jim Kiraly Father's Day

For those of you who do
a copy receive
a copy that you perceive
here's the sitch
Jim is an abuser b*tch

Your roles in support
are worth a legal tort
But today is Father's Day
Hip Hip Hooray

Is Jim alive or dead?
What have natural causes said?

Jim Kiraly Father's Day

If he's alive
for one goal you need to strive
Wish him Happy Father's Day for me
There is more, of course, to see

A friendly greet is in a tweet
at @BoldCoder
is the link
that's not all, I think

Does Haggis Hell ring a bell
If so, wife-beater lovers
Simple are my druthers
Let your fingers over the mouse hovers

Jim Kiraly Father's Day

Come and see
what there is to see

Nothing will make such as thee say “Gee”
But from the truth you'll not flee

If Jim from natural causes deceased becomes or is
I won't feel relief and drink cola fizz
Closure I was denied
This won't be addressed with sighed

Legitimate and Reasonable Purposes protected under U.S. Laws
Belong to me
Therefore in a
Legitimate and Reasonable Sense protected under U.S. Laws
so do thee

Good Day to you
Let joy and laughter ensue

Oh, Well

1. I've accepted the fact that Jim Kiraly may have passed away from natural causes. Or that he may be alive but may pass away before he can be brought to legitimate and reasonable justice that is protected under U.S. laws.

Jim is the heart of the story. He'll be missed.

However, after he goes to serve in his role as lubrication for Lucifer's mentula — you've earned it, Jim, relax and enjoy the honor — others will remain to provide love, support, and legitimate and reasonable research opportunities that are protected under U.S. laws.

But I've talked to a few P.I.s recently. Some of them have Law Enforcement backgrounds. I feel that it may be possible to determine, once and for all, if Jim's two residences in the Avila Beach area are, or are not, a dodge.

I say two residences because it appears that Jim may still own the property at 32 La Gaviota in Pismo Beach.

I'm supposed to be good at details. How is it that I missed the three Kiraly points illustrated by the screenshot below?

a. Harvey Levenson, who is probably just a legal artifact, has been interwoven with my father's affairs for 25 years.

b. WTH is that $418K in 1993 about? It wasn't related to a sale of the Walnut Creek property; that didn't happen until about 5 years later.

c. Does the screenshot below mean that Jim Kiraly still owns 32 La Gaviota in Pismo Beach? If so, who, exactly, is physically residing there?

Scott? Are you down there instead of in Pleasant Hill where you're supposed to be?

Note: The screenshot below probably won't be visible on phones. Rotate to landscape mode or try a regular web browser.

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Kiraly-Levenson Properties

2. I'm seeking, for legitimate and reasonable purposes protected under U.S. laws, information related to Jim Kiraly's location and involvement in local affairs.

Attorneys and others interested in the Legitimate and Reasonable Purposes List are invited to click on the link below:

Legitimate and Reasonable Purposes List


It appears that somebody has posted related useful information on the webpage linked below:


A close reading of the laws involved suggests that it's quite legal, in the context of criminal as opposed to civil law, to post that type of information publicly subject to various strict rules.

The rules *do* have teeth, but it's clear that they're applicable only in specific contexts. This is intentional on the part of lawmakers. It has to do with business and law enforcement issues.

In fact, such posting may or may not even create a cause of action in the civil arena.

These are casual observations, of course, until such time as such information is posted on a site that is under my control.

To read legal notes related to the laws which regulate the use of such information, attorneys and others are invited to click here.


As a related note, I'm offering cash for information, to be used for legitimate and reasonable purposes that are protected under U.S. laws, related to the location and activities of the wife-beater Jim Kiraly.

Information must be obtained in a strictly legal manner.

Jim Kiraly of Pismo Beach

3. In the Kiraly Gag Order cases, Jim accused me of making false statements related to sexual abuse. He didn't cite a single example. This was par for the course.

It was the same for spousal abuse. Jim accused me of making false statements related to spousal abuse, but he didn't cite a single example in this context either.

Jim was, of course, guilty of spousal abuse. I was forced by the legal actions to discuss his past. It was most likely awkward for his attorneys, though only slightly.

Attorneys don't too care much if their client turns out to have lied. Not as long as he or she is worth tens of millions of dollars.

One might wonder, since I hadn't said anything, why Jim felt the need to talk about sexual abuse.

I've decided that we're going to clear that part up.


This paragraph is a formal announcement that I've offered to state under oath details of a sexual incident involving Jim Kiraly of 6329 Twinberry Circle, Avila Beach, CA; 32 La Gaviota, Pismo Beach, CA; 217 Gerry Court, Walnut Creek, CA; Transamerica Corporation; Retired Active Men; and Service Core for Retired Executives. The Newport Beach address is unconfirmed.

Information that may help to locate and identify this person who has committed numerous prosecutable crimes, including multiple violent felonies, even if he's changed his name and/or left the country, has apparently been posted by some party at this link. Notes on legal issues related to such posting may be viewed at this link.

The point of the offer is that I'm seeking to be sure that organizations which might allow Jim to volunteer for them are aware of his involvement in spousal abuse, child abuse, and prosecutable crimes of other types.

It's my understanding that, unless Jim is convicted — which is unlikely due to the fact that he'd pass away before any trial was concluded — I'll need to approach organizations individually to have him placed on different “Caution” lists.

This might be time-consuming. But perhaps I'll be able to work out some type of statement format that will work for multiple organizations. With luck, the part about a statement under oath may turn out to be the key element.


But, organizations in what area? Is the violent abuser Jim Kiraly still in the area that includes Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Arroyo Grande or has he fled?

Is he, perhaps, staying elsewhere in property owned by Ken Kiraly and Virginia Chang Kiraly or renting property through a trust?

Photo: Ann Kiraly, Jim Kiraly's mother, and Olga Kmeta, Grace Kiraly's mother. Jim picked up the cycle of violence from his parents Frank and Ann and continued it.

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Ann Kiraly and Olga Kmeta
140313 Thursday — What Happens to Older Developers?

This post is old but will remain on the front page for the time being.

140313. Jeff Jenkins posted these questions and others recently at Ask Hacker News:

What happens to older developers? Is there a plateau in pay? Is there a drop in pay switching jobs after a certain number of years? Is becoming a specialist rather than a generalist the answer?

To read the original post, click here. Note: The link was valid as of March 2014. However, it may have broken since then.

This is my response:

Developers who go on long enough are expected to obtain high-level titles by their 50s or to retire at about that time.

I'd like to discuss an issue that you might not have thought about: What's going to happen if you lose your job?

Employment in the 50s can be problematic. If somebody is skilled and employed, and has a high-level title or is a specialist or has useful connections, they should be able to obtain a new position.

Otherwise, they might go from well-off to homeless. It happens. I'm 55, my resume is pretty good, and I was worth $1M a decade ago. I'm a transient now. I've got some medical issues, no medical care, and no dentists. Potential jobs are largely unskilled physical labor, which I'm not able to do.

I'm taking a shot at tutoring. However, I don't expect that to provide more than gas money. The head of an admin assistant firm said that I can't be a secretary unless I already am one.

Two people considered sending me to care for elderly relatives, but we didn't proceed. My title at one of those positions was going to be “poop scooper”.

Don't let this happen to you. For what it's worth, here's my advice:

1. Don't fall off of the employment ladder.

2. Become a specialist. Try to remain broad enough, though, that you don't become obsolete.

3. Build a network of people. Make it a large one.

4. Diversify your investments.

5. While you're employed, don't let medical issues, even minor ones, go untreated for long. If you lose your job and your assets, you'll lose medical care too and the issues may become serious.

6. Be kind to people. But don't be a fool. Most people that you help are not going to return the favor.

Regarding specialists, I did recruiting for a while in 2011 and I can confirm that the filters are weighted against generalists.

I've spent about 35 years myself as a generalist. My jobs called for it. The place where I spent most of my career took any project that came along, code of any type. At a dot-com that followed, after the money ran out, I handled all of the technical roles; IT, websites, development, support, documentation, etc. I was able to do a bit of everything.

Later on, none of this made a difference. There are few job listings that say “a bit of everything”.

After the dot-com shut down, 2003, I made $1M in the stock market. Lost most of it afterwards and reentered the job market. Learned that middle-age generalists were not in high demand.

In my case, there were other factors that won't apply to you. It's a story for another time. But if you're a generalist who falls off of the ladder in middle age, you can expect things like this:

“With a resume like that, why isn't he a CTO? Why doesn't he even have a job?”

You'll be asked questions about algorithms that you haven't thought about for 30 years. Or you'll go through coding tests under adverse conditions that don't allow you to show what you can do.

Plan ahead. Understand that the best-laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.

My own resume is located at:


These are my links. Yes, the technical site needs Twitter Bootstrap :P

  1. Technical site (oldcoder.org)
  2. My GitHub
  3. My LinkedIn
  4. My Twitter
  5. OldCoder Nerdcore Song

Regards, Robert (the Old Coder)

It Happens to Everybody
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